Why Fitbit’s CFO Resigned


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:13 p.m. ET

Fitbit makes leadership changes in its finance department

The finance executive who helped take Fitbit (FIT) public in 2015 left the company this month. After four years on the job, William Zerella resigned as Fitbit’s CFO to take a finance chief position at an autonomous driving startup.

Fitbit promoted its chief accounting officer, Ronald Kisling, to replace Zerella as CFO. Kisling joined Fitbit in 2014, the same year Zerella joined. Kisling was Nanometrics’ (NANO) CFO before he joined Fitbit.

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Fitbit looking beyond fitness trackers for growth

Fitbit completed several strategic acquisitions under the watch of Zerella, including the purchase of smartwatch makers Pebble and Vectora and health coaching platform Twine Health. In recent years, Fitbit has been working to break into new business areas beyond its core business of making activity trackers. The company has extended its reach into smartwatches, where it is competing for revenue against Apple, Samsung (SSNLF), Xiaomi, Garmin (GRMN), and Fossil (FOSL).

In the first quarter, Fitbit captured 8.7% of the world’s wearables market, according to IDC. It beat Garmin, which captured 5.0% of the market. Apple captured 16.1% of the wearables market, while Xiaomi captured 14.8%. Samsung’s and Fossil’s share, which they share with other vendors, fell 2.3% from a year ago.

Fitbit’s revenue fell 17%

Fitbit’s leadership changes came just as the company is struggling with losses and shrinking sales. In the first quarter, Fitbit’s net loss widened 34.6% year-over-year to $80.9 million, while its revenue fell 17.1% to $247.9 million.


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